December 2014 - Quantum of the Seas to Caribbean - Southern
First of all, My cruise history includes 35 cruises, 23 of them with Royal Caribbean. In all fairness, the ship is beautiful but in my opinion there is a lot of wasted space. This ship is not ready to sail.
My impression of this ship is that it was designed to maximize RCI's bottom line rather than give passengers more. There are 4 complimentary restaurants and at least seven you must pay for. The staterooms are smaller so they could fit more passengers. They no longer have assistant waiters in the restaurants.
RCI payed so much attention to the technology that they totally overlooked the passengers.
Dining was a frustrating experience. You must have reservations and at times expect to wait an additional 1/2 hour. We were given a light up pager like you would get in a highway chain restaurant. In virtually every restaurant we ate in, one or several menu items were missing. This started on the first night of the cruise! Food was OK but I wouldn't rave about a single meal. One person waited on you and seemed to struggle trying to place your order on a tablet. The service was slow and we missed several shows because of it. Our water glasses were seldom refilled and we missed the interaction you got when you had the same waiter every night. The menu's are small and stay the same. Jamies and Izumi were my two favorites. We spent weeks prior to this cruise linking 8 people to the same dining schedule only to be told upon boarding that there were no reservations listed. Customer Service was pretty much useless and seemed overwhelmed. A phrase we heard frequently was " There's nothing we can do". The Windjammer constantly had tables that were not cleared off. To order an omelet we were given a pager. If I had known it would take 20 minutes for my omelet I wouldn't have ordered it.
Mamma Mia was outstanding and rivaled the Broadway version. I did not understand the other shows. One show in the 270 seemed like an attempt to mimic Cirque Du Soleil with a floating Cellist and singer who sang the same song for 15 or 20 minutes. She was elevated and the other performers spent 15 minutes waving her gown??? The show had to be cancelled 2 nights due to excessive ship rocking. At night the 270 seemed almost empty when they played what I'll call elevator music.
The robot bar was boring after 3 minutes and that area was always empty since performances were limited and robots were malfunctioning.
The Bumper cars, rip cord and wave rider were great but you had to stand in line & make reservations. The North Star was OK but you had to stand in lengthy lines twice to ride it. Once to get a reservation & once to ride it. (If it was still operational).
The ship was missing much of the daily activities the RCI used to supply. The venues were often too small considering the number of passengers on the ship. (We often could find no seats for the activities.)
The Diamond lounge was way too small and we were told to get drinks at other bars. (Most bars we visited didn't take our order for at least 1/2 hour because they were understaffed).
The emphasis in the design of this ship was misguided and focused on technology rather than practicality. (You don't need to be a brain surgeon to realize that the children's pool shouldn't be next to the smoking section.
This ship would be ok for first time cruisers or younger people but for those of us who like content in our cruise and traditional dining the ship is a Quantum disappointment. I have read several 5 star reviews and have to assume they were given by stockholders or persons given a free trip. I have never written a negative review about a single cruise I've taken, but this was my worst cruise. You now have to WORK on vacation and stress out when technology goes awry.